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Livebudgetblogtpa_212.30pm: And we’re off with a typically modest comparison with him and Gladstone – the last time a Chancellor delivered 12 budgets was when Gladstone combined the jobs of Chancellor and Prime Minister!

12.31pm: Joking reference to Lord Turnbull – this is the ‘new Brown’ who can take a joke!

12.32pm: Claiming credit for 59 quarters of continuous growth although many of these predate Labour’s coming to power.

12.35pm: Brown is talking about boosting human capital and skills – sounds like another quango on the way…

12.37pm: Brown is claiming to have met the golden rule but this is the rewritten rule and how much is hidden off balance sheet in PFI.

12.39pm: Brown rattling off a stream of borrowing figures – we’ll have to double check the fine print – he only ever lingers over good news.

12.42pm: First surprise – significant gains from asset sale (privatisation) to be "reinvested" in key frontline services but the Departments benefiting are the Inland Revenue, the Attorney General and the Lord Chancellor.

12.43pm: More gobbldygook figures but he’s relying on Gershon savings – so there anyone’s guess.

12.45pm: Large cash boost for the NHS – but no sign of reform to correct for misspent money in the past.  Expect further targets and quangoes.

12.47pm: Brown keeps harping on about stability – score that as a tribute to George Osborne

12.48pm: Three priorities – global competitiveness, savings and the family.

12.50pm: 2p cut in mainstream corporation tax – score that as a victory for the TaxPayers’ Alliance‘s campaign – to be paid for by an overhaul of capital allowances (expect more work for the accountants).

12.51pm: Oh dear – smaller companies’ tax rate goes up?

12.53pm: Announces competition to develop greener technology.  Let’s hope that Blue Peter aren’t manning the phone lines!

12.55pm: Package of measures to improve energy efficiency in the home.  It won’t be enough to satisfy the green lobby (thank God).

12.57pm: Here come the stealth taxes… Steep rises in landfill, aggregates and climate change levy and "underused business property" to pay higher rates.

1pm: As expected tinkering with the taxation of fuel – ‘greener vehicles gain – dirty vehicles lose.’  Goes on to reject George Osborne’s VAT ideas on domestic flights.

1.01pm: The first real good news – duty frozen on spirits.

1.03pm: Worthy sounding – but complex – proposals on the voluntary and charitable sectors.

1.05pm: Further extensions to the Working Family Tax Credit system – not clear how this complicated system achieves his objectives of global competitiveness – why not just make work pay by lowering the tax rates?

1.06pm: Big boost to pensions protections payments – a big issue among Brown’s comrades.  Is there an election coming up?!  More worryingly suggests that the pensions system is worse than we thought.

1.08pm: Rejects Cameron’s marriage tax proposals as unfair to too many children.  Claims that longstanding tax breaks for inheritance tax and CGT achieve the same end.

1.10pm: Phased rise in inheritance tax exemptions but probably not as fast as house prices.  Surprise increase in cash ISA limit.

1.11pm: Phased increase in child benefit – is Brown attempting to open a flank on the family against Cameron?  The battle of the nannies?

1.14pm: Significant phased increase in income tax allowances for pensioners.  So why is it such a good idea to help OAPs this way but not working age poor people?

1.15pm: Quite a complicated package – shifting between income tax and NIC – basic rate is widened but the lower rate of income tax was scrapped – unclear as to who is winning and losing.

1.18pm: Massive boost for education spending but you’ll only get value for money when the schools standards offer genuine choice.

1.19pm: Oh! Basic rate cut by 2p to 20p from next April… er…

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